Head Gaskets for Vortecs - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old Apr 26th, 04, 11:15 AM Thread Starter
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I found out that my '96 Vortec engine came with GM p/n 10105117 head gaskets. These are .028" thick. This engine is supposed to have 9.4:1 compression stock. Since I am changing the stock cam to one with more duration (X4280HR - 280/284 duration), should I try to use a thinner head gasket, such as the Fel-Pro p/n 1094 which measures .015" ?

I want to add to my compression for more power or at least not lose any by changing to this cam (I plan to run 93 octane gas). Would anyone know how much the compression in a 9.4:1 350 ci motor would increase by changing only the head gasket from .028" to .015" ?

Are there any problems with getting a good seal in using a head gasket this thin ? Thanks, Ron.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old Apr 26th, 04, 05:12 PM
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As you probably know, any head gasket that will work on a regular 350 will work with the vortecs. Most people seem to have good luck with the 1094's. I personally don't feel comfortable using a gasket that thin on an undecked block and unsurfaced heads. Have you measured the deck height on your engine? If you decide on the 1094's, make sure it won't put your deck height under about .040. It shouldn't if you have a stock shortblock, but you need to check to make sure. GM still makes the .028 gaskets, BTW.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old Apr 27th, 04, 01:45 AM Thread Starter
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When you say "deck height" do you mean the distance from the highest part of the piston when it is at TDC to the surface of the block ? I will check that.

My block and heads have not been re-surfaced. I'd like to have a little extra compression, but not if I'm at risk of tearing back into this thing and replacing head gaskets soon.

If I do stay with the .028" gaskets, would you recommend the GM ones (I didn't have any trouble with them) or would another brand (like Fel-Pro) be a better choice ?

Thanks once again for your help Travis.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old Apr 27th, 04, 04:49 AM
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I am sure the GM gaskets are just fine. I think Eric68 on here uses a victor-reinz nitro-seal gasket that is either .026 or .028 thick and he has had good luck with his. Maybe he can chime in here.
Yes, the deck height is the distance from the top of the piston to the blocks deck surface.
Considering the general rule of thumb that 1 point of compression is worth 4% in power, even with a 400hp engine you are looking at maybe a 5hp difference between a .015 and a .028 head gasket. Your compression isn't to the point where you have to nail down those last .001's to get the perfect quench. My 355/vortec truck engine has a terrible .040 deck height and standard .041 head gasket and with 9.4-1 compression and a XE268 cam, it gets driven daily with 89 octane fuel. It has run on 87 in a pinch. The vortec heads are that good [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old Apr 27th, 04, 05:27 AM Thread Starter
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I'll just stick with the GM .028" gaskets that came factory on it then, unless someone has a better recommendation for the price. I can get them from the dealer here for about $18.00 each. Thanks !
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